Student supports punch-up

Discussion in 'Behavior Management' started by drummer001, Jun 28, 2018.

  1. drummer001

    drummer001 Rookie

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    Jun 28, 2018

    How would you react and which consequences would you draw if you become aware of a brawl between two girls of sixth-graders during a school festival and you walk up to the brawlers when suddenly a student at the same grade is barring the way with his arms outstretched in order to prevent your intervention?

    Incredible to imagine but became reality for me this morning.
     
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  3. Been There

    Been There Habitué

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    Jun 28, 2018

    Since this topic isn't addressed in teacher credential programs (not even for administrators in training), I would think every district should have special inservice training for all school personnel. Now that student altercations are becoming commonplace in many schools, teachers should demand that their administrators take proactive steps to prepare everyone for the inevitable situations. such as the one you found yourself in. Of course, students should be taught acceptable alternative ways of resolving interpersonal conflicts. Since legal guidelines may vary from state to state, district policy should be developed for student behavior. Here's what one district has done to support teachers in this regard.
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2018
  4. Aces

    Aces Habitué

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    Jun 29, 2018

    We call the resource officer. We have a city police officer that acts as our resource officer. Anything like fights or anything like that he gets involved. Students get real world consequences.
     
  5. Obadiah

    Obadiah Groupie

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    Jun 29, 2018

    First, if I might react ironically: We tell kids to act more grownup, so that's just what these 3 kids were doing. They were acting like their role models. Typically, adults solve problems by escalating insults and perhaps arranging situations to "punish" the other person. As I heard one adult recently suggest, "Let them duke it out."

    Now, if I might react professionally, more socially proficiently, and with comments that I personally believe: So what if adults act this way. We need to teach proper social resolutions to disagreements. In this immediate situation, I'd recommend the teacher remain calm. Three kids are out of control. There is no need for a fourth person to become out of control. If I couldn't get around the blocker, I'd call for assistance or speak to get the brawlers' attention. More than likely, a determined continuance forward on the teacher's part will cause the blocker to step aside, but not always. I witnessed a robbery at a shopping mall about 15 years ago. I was on the ground floor and this happened on the 2nd floor. The chasing security guard was suddenly blocked by a group of boys asking the guard nonsense questions. The guard was briefly halted, but managed to eventually walk past the boys, although it gave the robber a head start.

    Kids need to be taught that a more effective resolution is to talk calmly, listen to each other, and respect each other's opinions. Angry words (and certainly angry fists) escalate angry reactions: calm words, and even a smile, encourage resolution, solution, and contribution.
     
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  6. drummer001

    drummer001 Rookie

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    Jun 30, 2018

    But is this city police officer always at school or does he need to set out from his police station when your school asks for help?
     
  7. drummer001

    drummer001 Rookie

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    Jun 30, 2018

    Thanks for your advice.
    The student stepped aside when I premonished him that he will get into trouble if he won‘t clear the way.
    But it wasn‘t able for me to put an end to the fight till I pulled both brawlers apart with effort.
    After both girls becalmed I wondered how to impart students to more civil courage for such incidents but I think that such a behaviour of supporting a punch-up is as a saying goes „when two people quarrel, a third rejoices.“

    Maybe telling the students in a calm manner as you suggested that quarrels cannot be solved by fights, it might have an impact on future altercations.
     
  8. Aces

    Aces Habitué

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    Jun 30, 2018

    No he's always at school. If there's staff or students on school grounds he's there.
     
  9. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Phenom

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    Jun 30, 2018

    I 1000% agree with this. You are absolutely right!
     
  10. Aces

    Aces Habitué

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    The administration doesn't want us getting in the middle of fights trying to break it up. That's fine by me, the polish man can handle it! Besides if I get in the middle of something I'd wack em with my walking stick and keep it moving. Best I don't!
     
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  11. drummer001

    drummer001 Rookie

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    Jul 2, 2018

    @Been There

    As you mentioned it, our school personnel isn't trained for de-escalation. Our school has an emergency plan in which teachers can read what to do in special cases like fire alarm or bomb threat. Under the section "fights" it is explained that in case of altercations the teacher has to stop the violence and to impose consequences on the students who are involved.
    This offers no help!
    Maybe I've to talk to the principal about providing trainings if our district offers courses.

    In the version of district policy you quoted one can read similar words. The advice "Intervene verbally and send someone for help/ It is never appropriate to use physical force to such a degree that marks might be left on a student." lets me wonder if most of altercations teachers had already stopped could be brought under control exclusively by verbal intervention.
    Just let me know if it works for you :)
     
  12. Been There

    Been There Habitué

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    Jul 2, 2018

    Although there's no quick fix to eliminating school violence, the tools for addressing this growing problem have been available for some time. It's not a matter of not knowing what to do, but of not wanting to do anything about it! As is often the case, an effective response to school violence including physical altercations requires a multi-pronged approach - an internet search will reveal numerous resources. Where there's a will, there's a way.
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2018
  13. Teacher234

    Teacher234 Cohort

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    Sep 21, 2018

    My school district has a strict zero-tolerance policy for violence.
    Students who are in first grade or below will be suspended for two days for violence.
    Second-Sixth grade=5-10 day suspension
    7th and up=10 day suspension, Superintendent's hearing, Police intervention, Highway Duty (10-40 hours)
    In extreme case, expulsion is considered.
    In a classroom, the teachers are required to "clear" the room of other students and contact the office immediately after requesting assistance from other teachers. Assistance is requested quite abruptly and by shouting "Fight in room #" . This is the required procedure. The school may also go into a hold-in-place.
    Administration and security comes to the classroom after the contact to office is made.
    Fortunately, I do not have to worry about fighting in my school. The worst behaviors are usually stealing or threats (which are taken very seriously).
     
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  14. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Phenom

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    Sep 21, 2018

    I like your school district’s no-tolerance policy on violence. That’s exactly how troublemakers should be handled.
     
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  15. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Sep 22, 2018

    If you have a union, present your questions to them for clarification and legal ramifications. When I worked in public school, and now at my private school, teachers were to call for security - period. Teachers who try to break up a fight, but then end up injured cost the school a lot of money in workmen's comp and disability payments. Even though I am trained in deescalation techniques every single year, we are actually reminded that the first thing to do is to call for security, safeties, or admin in cases of violence, and our job is to remove the non-combatants from the area once security, safeties, or admin arrive. Many combatants become much less aggressive once their audience disappears.

    Many times, male teachers, in particular, feel the need to try to break up a fight, and then are rewarded with a lawsuit if they laid a hand on any student. I saw this one happen. The union's stand was that his actions exceeded his jurisdiction, so they helped very little with legal fees. Our first instincts, as teachers or parents, is to interject ourselves in an attempt to redirect, but since we seldom know, in that brief instant of decision, what the fight is about, the mental states of the combatants, whether or not there are weapons that can't be seen, our instincts may cause us to jump into something we don't really understand. I have seen really big men able to intimidate enough to cause the fighting to stop long enough for help to arrive, but these same men have told me that if their presence doesn't do the trick, they will not lay a hand on a student. Their hope is that their size will disperse the crowd, taking away the audience, which may very well cause the combatants to stop fighting. It is a delay tactic while security can arrive.
     

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